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Could someone explain the Buddhist belief system to me?

God anatma atma

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#241 kbe

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 11:33 AM

To find a beginning, or a Creator (one without a beginning who makes a new beginning) doesn't fit into logical sense. A very detailed and logical explanation of this using logical thinking is available in the book "The Quantum And The Lotus" as told by one of the two authors, Tibetan Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. This is in the chapter "In Search Of The Great Watchmaker."

And if we cannot use logic to wend our way through thoughts about why we are here then 'the Great Meatball In The Sky started it all' has as much validity to it as anything else.

Edited by kbe, 06 February 2017 - 02:04 PM.


#242 Jadespear

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 12:12 PM

Specifically as I understand it the Buddhist belief system is in the Anatman, and this was done intentionally by Buddha to get people to think outside the Hindu/Yogic system where the Higher Self is called the Atman.

I guess what I would like to know is does the Buddhist belief system believe in God, and if so, what form is God for them? It seems in the Hindu/Yogic system God is you, me, each of us living sperately physically but all connected to the Source through our Higher Selves. We are all little peices of God and are at the same time God. I think I get what they say. But I would like to know what the Buddhist belief system says.

The reason I am asking this is because I come from the Christain belief system, and I am rapidly coming to the point where I will have to figure out where I stand. Is God some man on a throne somewhere? Is God merely the energy that we all have a part of inside that gives us life and is commonly referred to as The Source? Or is God me, or rather am I God? For whatever reason God decided to shoot a part of Himself off into this physical reality to live in my physical body. Or is God perhaps all of these and more, or none of these?

I have to make a choice in order to pursue my spiritual development. If I stick with my Christain beliefs then I can go no further. God may or may not be connected to me, I may or may not be connected to others, God may or may not be the source that connects us all and gives us life. This is as far as I can go in the Christain faith. Because if I start saying I am God I am in direct conflict with the Bible and the belief system of the Christian faith. It is, literally for me at this point in my development, hell or high water. Once I start calling myself God, if I am wrong, if the Christian faith is right, then I consign myself to an eternity of suffering in hell for blasphomy among other things. Do you see my predicament?

At some point I have to step off the narrow way and risk the jungle that waits beyond. Well in reality I have stepped off, and now it's a matter of turning my back on it and leaving it behind. I can't think of myself as a Center of Consiousness, and move beyond my body, within my former religion. I mean I moved beyond the religion itself but retained some of its beliefs. It is those I have to leave behind.

All this is compounded by the fact that I now see the truth about religion in general. It is a control, a leash, a cage, a collar. You can't find freedom in a belief, it is your beliefs that entrap you. Some of that entrapment is good. Your religion tells you that murdering someone is bad, well then you won't be going around killing folks. Your belief to respect life, to not kill, is stronger than any law. But in most other ways these constraints are bad, because they can be used to keep you blind, deaf and dumb to the truth so others can control you. It is apt that the Bible describes people as sheep...

Anyhow I think understanding the Buddhist viewpoint here will aid me in figuring out what mine will be. One of the main three, or perhaps a different one entirely. We'll see. I appreciate your help. Also let me be perfectly clear, I'm not posting this to challenge or belittle anyone's views on God. I didn't start this thread to argue. Just to hear a viewpoint. So feel free to share, I for one will welcome and appreciate it.

Thank you -
- DreamBliss

Hello,

 

I think that I may be able to guide you into understanding this approach for yourself.  In order to fully understand this topic, you will need to be able to legitimately question everything that you already think you know, believe, and perceive. 

 

When it comes to talking about religions, I think that the first thing that must be understood - is how they come to be, why, and over what timeframe....     because, when you discover that mostly every religion has an origin, lasts for awhile, and then ceases to be around... until the next religion pops up again. 

 

Also - the use and meaning of words is extremely important- to know and understand this requires historical study. 

 

So now onto it -

 

If you look at Buddhism, it is first and foremost an "ism"... which means that it is a philosophical observance of the state of reality, the world, existence, or whatever you want to call it, and the experience of living in it as an incarnated being.  

 

.... now the history comes in - at the time of the era of the Buddha, in eastern cultures, the word " God " was very seldom used if at all...  buddhism as taught by the Buddha sage Siddartha Guatama, is not an entire all encompassing theory of existence in so much as it is a collection of perceptions, experiences, etc... that are all recorded in writing or verbal speech - that are aimed at solving the Buddha's question of ending " dukkha " or " dissatisfaction "....  because the Buddha does not care about beliefs, and nonsense information.  The Buddha cared to understand how to live happily and at peace with oneself and the world at large....  therefore the collection of everything that came from what he intially laid down as the basis for his "dharma" or " rightful way ".... is in large part simply an expression of his experience.

 ...... so Buddhism - is not about worshipping anything at all, it is entirely different.  Buddhism seeks to resolve all of the sufferings of life through understanding their origin.  Because to the Buddha, that is what he thought needed to be shown to the world - not theories and beliefs that do nothing but cause more " dukkha"...

 

... So now delving into the 4 noble truths, and 8 fold path - these statements are the foundation of all currently held Buddhist's-  or people who follow the teaching.  What these statements basically lay out, and what is really cool to understand about them is that they were chosen by the Buddha, for a specific purpose.  They are the foundation of an " eternal dharma " or an " always true, and useful way of going about achieving whatever needs to be done in the right and true way ".  Because to the Buddha - "dukkha " will somehow always sprout up regardless of time.... the Buddh'as teaching can be applied at any point in time wherever for any being who seeks to live happily and free from "dukkha".

 

... So the practice of understanding the other questions that arise in the due course of pondering these concepts, is something that every person for themslves must see and realize, because no one can teach it.  Which is also another reason that the Buddha's 4 noble truths, and 8 fold path are somewhat open ended to explore for oneself using whatever means or way they like to do...    which in the end, becomes actual meditation...

 

- I was raised as a Christian, and so I may be able to help you I guess... 

 

But here is the summary that I basically work with when contrasting and comparing religions - 

 

Taoism - extremely old, developed circa 5,000 years ago - began as philosophy and scientific inquiry developed into symbolic religion with a dogma of a pantheon of gods associated to nature.  Original held effort of Taosim - flowing with the Tao... living according to the natural law on all levels of life.  Tao literally meant " way " or " method ".....   Tao has now come to mean  " God ".

 

Hinduism - extremely old, developed out of Vedic religion - began as consciousness practice or seeking to see what is behind or underneath the sensual physical world... to see into the substratum of life...   purpose of use of suck knowledge - to know and understand everything to not be bound to one's own ignorances....  the presupoosition here is that true knowledge provides peace of mind because when the mind is seeking all the time....it causes pain. Fruits of the efforts of hinduism - many.  Hindus - are people who attempt to increase what they call the " sattvik " vibration in themselves to move closer to and eventually "become" one with the actual creator of the universe. They attempt to increase the " sattvik" vibe because it to them represents and is actually truely the vibration of purity.  The other 2 vibrations they hold to exist are " rajas " = action and passion, and " tamas" - ignorance and inertia.  The rajas and tamas are seen as impure because they cause strong karmic bonds to develop everywhere in the universe.  Hindus properly understand the doctrine of karma as the law of how actions come to be...  

 

Buddhism - developed around same era as hinduism.  The sage Siddartha Guatama, was taught and instructed in ways of meditation by a hindu. Buddhism actually does not acknowledge or even attempt to correlate the existence of a " god ".  Buddhism seeks to be realistic and understand everything in terms of causes and effects and dependent origination, so that people can live peacefully - not ever in competition with each other.

 

... Eastern religions do not use the word " god " in their writings... and this is the most important fact that creates the divide that one will see in how they are extremely different then western religions.  Because if you look at Eastern religions, they are all basically aimed at achieving peace and understanding with oneself and the world...  through consciously comprehending the nature of life itself.... not through worship, praise, and whatever else that is anything that is not actually knowing the mystery of happiness, peace, etc...

 

Western Religions - 

 

Christianity, Muslim, Islam, Judaism - The biggest difference with all of these as compared to eastern religions is the truth the pose to you - monotheism.  They have gods.... but eventually all the little gods... became thought of as "one" "god".

-  These religions came about in a place of the world that was very contested, violent, and volatile - the fertile crescent in Mesopatamia. The background of appeasement and prostration to "higher and more powerful beings " to aid the course of humanity heavily influenced all of these religions.  All of these religions stem from the patriach of Abraham - a hebrew.

 

.....  these western religions were used historically as a means to keep people under control by whatever means necessary. 

.....  In actuality - lots of religions and belief systems are used as a means to keep people under control... which is why they suck in that regard. 

 

So - as one can see, what is common to all of these " endeavors " - what is the point of religion?  One will find, that each religion came from a certain place, and that environment and attitude of that place more or less determined what that religion would be...  however - there are vast differences that have arisen through the involvement of humanity over time...  that has in some cases totally lost all of the original meaning and intent behind what they were originally trying to achieve. 

 

 --- So even further to the point - underlying all of the religions everywhere - is an attempt to see truth as a means to live harmoniously and in peace , or to blind people to the truth and enslave them into servitude to a false ideal, or whatever...

 

.... the great yin yang action of what can be when certain information is used.

 

... I wonder when people will release themselves from the bonds of worship, conquest, and utter stupidity. 


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#243 Orion

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 08:31 PM

Who was it that said... if you can't explain something simply and clearly, then you don't really understand it?



#244 Jadespear

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 08:54 PM

Who was it that said... if you can't explain something simply and clearly, then you don't really understand it?

....

....

....

 

ok..... explain something simply and clearly please.  Because I disagree.  The comprehension of something is not entirely tied to the way that one's understanding is communicated...  especially somthing complex - like invisible energies and an entire historical saga of the world's history...   could be explained simply, but the simplicity would most likely lack specific detail, and hence would therefore engender a prompt for further inquiry. Wouldn't one think?



#245 roger

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 12:38 AM

Jadespear,

 

Thanks for sharing some of your understanding of religions.

 

I definitely agree that the conditions of society at the time of the beginning of each religion profoundly influenced the nature of those religions.

 

Also, there's no doubt that, as you said, religions change over time, with the additions, variations, and sometimes corruptions of people. I wonder if evangelical Christianity is anything close to what Jesus originally intended it to be.



#246 roger

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 12:53 AM

Here's what I think are some of the key concepts of Buddhism.

 

1. Beliefs aren't very emphasized. You don't need "faith" in Buddhism, but discernment, which comes through mindfulness.

 

2. Attachment is the problem. Attachment creates suffering when it isn't fulfilled.

 

3. The nature of life is impermanence. Impermanence is the simple and observable fact that all relative phenomenon and experiences are temporary and constantly changing. Through the understanding of impermanence, attachment and suffering can be transcended.

 

4. Mindfulness is the way to gain insight and recognize impermanence.

 

This is my take on it, which is largely just what I've found helpful in my own experience. I feel that we mainly get from reading and studying that which works for us, what we personally find helpful.


Edited by roger, 05 February 2017 - 01:00 AM.

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#247 C T

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:39 AM

Here's what I think are some of the key concepts of Buddhism.

 

1. Beliefs aren't very emphasized. You don't need "faith" in Buddhism, but discernment, which comes through mindfulness.

 

2. Attachment is the problem. Attachment creates suffering when it isn't fulfilled.

 

3. The nature of life is impermanence. Impermanence is the simple and observable fact that all relative phenomenon and experiences are temporary and constantly changing. Through the understanding of impermanence, attachment and suffering can be transcended.

 

4. Mindfulness is the way to gain insight and recognize impermanence.

 

This is my take on it, which is largely just what I've found helpful in my own experience. I feel that we mainly get from reading and studying that which works for us, what we personally find helpful.

Very well observed, Roger.  :)

 

From the recognition of impermanence the seeds of bodhicitta are sown. 

 

The sprouting of the seeds of bodhicitta gives rise to the gradual insight into knowledge of the whole path of what Buddha Dharma is about. 


Edited by C T, 05 February 2017 - 01:46 AM.

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Om svabhava shuddha sarva dharma svabhava shuddho 'ham!
Om shunyata jnana vajra svabhava atmako 'ham! 
Om ah hum hra phat!
Om muni muni mahamuni Shakyamuniye svaha! 
  
Appearances are mind, mind is emptiness, emptiness is spontaneous presence, spontaneous presence is self-liberation.
(9th Karmapa)
 

The objects perceived by sentient beings 

are like the appearance of illusions;

Sentient beings themselves are in the nature of illusion

they all arise through dependent origination. - Nagarjuna


#248 Jadespear

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 09:02 PM

Jadespear,

 

Thanks for sharing some of your understanding of religions.

 

I definitely agree that the conditions of society at the time of the beginning of each religion profoundly influenced the nature of those religions.

 

Also, there's no doubt that, as you said, religions change over time, with the additions, variations, and sometimes corruptions of people. I wonder if evangelical Christianity is anything close to what Jesus originally intended it to be.

...thanks brother. 

 

... I being a raised christian.. albeit not intense at all....... Wonder the same - and what I eventually conclude is that, all religion enshrouds the truth that is perceived with an explanation.  Which is entirely ok, as is the natural way of understanding things..... but; however good of explanation it may be does not entirely explain everything now does it?

 

 

... for the real truth, the real way of things - is also explainable, because it can be seen, and experienced.  However- the dogma of religions should be taken lightly in attitude and on the approach if one is to endeavor beyond it entirely.  For, in religions one does find pebbles, pools, and streams of thought that one may connect with, BUT - how do they all connect?


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#249 kbe

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:39 AM

Who was it that said... if you can't explain something simply and clearly, then you don't really understand it?


Physicist Richard Feynman for one, in so many words. It is discussed in one of his 4 steps on how to learn and master a subject. www.wimp.com/how-to-master-any-subject/

Edited by kbe, 06 February 2017 - 02:08 PM.

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#250 kbe

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

Jadespear,
 

 
....Also, there's no doubt that, as you said, religions change over time, with the additions, variations, and sometimes corruptions of people. I wonder if evangelical Christianity is anything close to what Jesus originally intended it to be.



An interesting book on the multitude of differences between the extant copies of the books of the New Testament is 'Misquoting Jesus'. Most are minor but a number are in conflict with each other. The author, an expert biblical scholar/translator, points out probable omissions, spurious additions and changes of varying importance to the meaning and spirit of the texts.





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